In 1959, at the age of twenty-nine, Trichen Jurme Kunzang Wangya’s father, the Xth Mindrolling Trichen, had died. His enthronement as the XIth Mindrolling Trichen was set to take place. All these plans were shattered by the Communist Chinese invasion and the TIbetan uprising. His Holiness went into exile in India, fleeing Tibet along with many great masters of his generation. He left behind the monastery established in 1676 in the Drachi Valley by his predecessor the first Mindrolling Trichen,
After several years of tireless effort helping to establish Tibetan Buddhism in exile, his official enthronement took place in 1962. In 1976 Rinpoche was finally able to set up the official monastic seat of Mindrolling in exile. Located in the foothills of the Himalayas in Dehra Dun in North India, Mindrolling Monastery has expanded steadily to become one of the largest Buddhist centers in existence today. All the great masters of Tibetan Buddhism, and especially all the teachers of the Nyingma lineage consider Mindrolling
to be an inspiring example of the practice of the pure and profound Dharma of Vajrayana Buddhism.
The Mindrolling organization provides Buddhist education to over 300 monks beginning with primary and secondary school, facilitates research, and preserves and promotes
Buddhism and Tibetan culture>. Monks use Drubde Ödsal Ling for 3-month and 3-year retreats. Libraries are expanding and the recently fomed, Dharmashri Translation Group, is busy translating liturgies and publishing a Buddhist Journal. Samten Tse Retreat Center, a branch of Mindrolling for nuns and western retreatants located in Musoorie, is responsible for preserving the Jetsunma line, one of the most remarkable features of Mindrolling. The tradition of female masters at Mindrolling can be traced back to Yeshe Sogyal and Machig Labdron.
Established in 1991, Nagyur Nyingma College Ngagyur Nyingma College, is Mindrolling’s Institute of Advanced Buddhist Studies. (Five Sciences University) where hundreds of monks receive advance training to preserve the unbroken lineage of teachings and pass them on to the next generation of practitioners. It is now one of the largest Buddhist Institutes in existence. Monks of Ngagyur Nyingma College study and practice the teachings of Buddha in accordance with the living lineage. The College library at Mindrolling houses commentaries by Indian and Tibetan masters on the Buddha’s teachings. Current expansion will add a state-of-the art media facility for preservation activities.
Mindrolling has many magnificent examples of buddhist art and architecture. Ngedon Gatsal Ling, the main monastery and practice center at Mindrolling. There are also many shrine rooms including several within the The Great Stupa. Constructed to benefit all beings and dedicated to world peace, the stupa was inaugurated in October, 2002.
There are several large prayer wheels on the grounds surrounding the Stupa for use by monks and laity.
Life of the monastic residents is closely interwoven with that of the Tibetan Refuge Colony of Clement Town, adjacent to Mindrolling. The Community Prayer Hall of Clement Town is on the Monastery property. The building also houses dormitories and classrooms for the schools for young monks. The young students follow a curriculum consisting of a wide range of dharma and practical studies.
Industriousness is inextricably interwoven with the contemplative and scholarly atmosphere of Mindrolling. The monastery maintains its own dairy requiring the care of animals. The infrastructure and landscape require constant care and attention. Ongoing construction projects have added more facilities such as a guesthouses for visitors, a Health Care Clinic providing care with both Tibetan and Western medical staff, housing for seniors,
and new shops and cafés.
The acitivities of the Mindrolling Monastery and its college, the Ngagyur Nyingma Institute, are administered by a staff of Rinpoches.
Padmasambhava and the Nyingma School
Due to the efforts and teachings of the great Mahaguru Padmasambhava, Buddhism flourished in Tibet beginning in the 8th century. Of the four main schools that developed, the oldest is the Nyingma or the Old Translation School. The Kagyu, Sakya and Gelug lineages comprise the Sarma or New Translation School.
The Dzogchen Teachings
The essence of the Nyingma lineage is the precious Dzogchen teachings, the most ancient, powerful and direct teachings of Tibetan Buddhism. For today’s troubled world, these teachings are the clearest and most effective way to realize one’s full potential as a human being.
Mindrolling in Tibet and the Exile to India
The Nyingmapa or Nyingma School has six main monasteries of learning and practice. Of the six, Mindrolling was one of the largest and most important practice and study centers in Central Tibet.
Established in 1676 in the Drachi Valley by the great Dharma king Chögyal Terdag Lingpa, Mindrolling attracted monks from the length and breadth of Tibet. Mindrolling was, and is today, considered by all the great masters of Tibetan Buddhism, and especially by all the teachers of the Nyingma lineage, as an inspiring example of the practice of the pure and profound Dharma of Vajrayana Buddhism. An unbroken lineage of great masters continues up to this day. With the Chinese invasion of Tibet in 1959, many Tibetan masters were urged to flee in an attempt to protect their lives and thus the precious teachings.
Mindrolling Monastery in India
Mindrolling began to re-establish its monastic seat in exile in Dehra Dun, India in 1965, through the untiring efforts of His Eminence Khochhen Rinpoche and small group of monks. Embarrassed by the wilderness and rough conditions on the land they had selected, they first worked to build monk’s quarters and the main shrine room before inviting His Holiness the XIth Mindrolling Trichen to assume leadership. His Holiness then moved from Kalimpong to Dehra Dun in 1976.
Mindrolling in India is known today throughout the Dharma world, both as the lineage and monastery dedicated completely to Dharma activities and as a main center for maintaining the precious secret Vajrayana Doctrine.
There are various other Mindrolling centers. There is a retreat center and monastery of Mindrolling in Kalimpong in Eastern India amd there are Mindrolling centers of practice and study in Mongolia and Taiwan.